Phonetics as a science.
Phonetics and Phonology
Sound system of any language is the major focus of two linguistic disciplines: Phonetics (phonetics proper) and Phonology (functional phonetics).
phonetics vs. phonology
Physical description of sounds Description of sound classes interrelation and function
presence vs. absence of sounds complementary vs. contrastive distribution of sound classes
presence vs. absence of features redundant vs. contrastive (phonemic) features
narrow transcription in square brackets broad transcription in slanted brackets
transcr. symbols the same across langs. transcription symbols generalized, unique to each lang.
Phonetics focuses on sounds and their properties, while phonology focuses on phonemes and their regularities. Phonetics is language independent, while phonology is language dependent. Phonology cannot produce new facts, it mostly interprets phonetic data.
Types of Phonetics:
historical vs. diachronical;
acoustic vs. articulatory vs. perceptive;
descriptive vs. prescriptive;
segmental vs. suprasegmental.
Phonetics uses methods of natural sciences; phonology uses methods of logics and humanities. Phonetic data is observable, phonological data is deducible. In phonetics scientists examine real physical entities, while in phonology scholars investigate abstract, mental constructions, which do not physically exist. Although Phonetics simply describes the articulatory and acoustic properties of phones (speech sounds) while Phonology studies how sounds interact as a system in a particular language, these two branched are interrelated. Phoneticians expand phonetic knowledge by building the databases of phonetic facts, phonologists build explanatory theories based on phonetic data.
Thus, phonetics and phonology are related to Maths, Physics, Computer science, Anatomy, Psychology, other linguistic disciplines, history, etc.
Ph. is an branch of linguistic like lexicology, grammar and stylistics. It studies the sound matter, its aspects and functions. Ph. formulates the rules of pronunciation for separate sounds and sound combinations.
Through the system of rules of reading Ph is connected with grammar and helps to pronounce correctly singular and plural forms of nouns, the past tense forms and past participles of English regular verbs (d is pronounced after voiced cons., t is pronounced after voiceless cons. Wish-wished, id is pronounced after t want-wanted, s is pronounced after voiceless cons., z is after voiced cons. and iz after sibilants (свистящие)).
Sound interchange is another manifestation of the connection of Ph with grammar, e.g. this connection can be observed in the category of number. Thus the interchange of f/v, s/z, th/the helps to differentiate singular and plural forms of such words as basis- bases, and also man-men, foot-feet. Vowel interchange is connected with the tense forms of irregular verbs (sing-sang-sung). Vowel interchange can also help to distinguish between: 1) nouns and verbs (bath-bathe), 2) adj and nouns (hot-heat), 3) verbs and adj (moderate-moderate), 4) nouns and nouns (shade-shadow), 5) nouns and adj (type-typical). Vowel interchange can also be observed in onomatopoetic compounds (звукоподражательные сложные слова): hip-hop, flap-flop, chip-chop. Consonants can interchange in different parts of speech, e.g. in nouns and verbs (extent-extend, mouth-mouth).
Ph is also connected with grammar through its intonation component. Sometimes intonation alone can serve to single out the logical predicate.( ‘he came home, he ‘came home, he came ‘home). Pausation may also perform a differentiatory function. If we compare 2 similar sentences pronounced with different places of pause, the meaning will be different.
Ph is also connected with lexicology. It is only due to the presence of stress in the right place, that we can distinguish certain nouns from verbs (formed by conversion): ‘object-ob’ject.
Homographs can be differentiated only due to pronunciation, because they are identical in spelling: bow(ou луг)-bow(au поклон), row(ou ряд)-row(au шум).
Due to the position of word accent we can distinguish between homonymous words and word groups, e.g. ‘blackbird-black ‘bird.
Ph is also connected with stylistics; first of all through intonation and its components: speech melody, utterance (произнесение) stress, rhythm, pausation and voice timbre which serves to express emotions.
Ph is also connected with stylistics through repetition of words, phrases and sounds. Repetition of this kind serves the basis of rythm, rhyme and alliteration. The repetition of identical or similar sounds, which is called alliteration, helps to impart ( передавать) a melodic effect to the utterance and to express certain emotions.
Theoretical significance of Ph is connected with the further development of the problem of the study and description of the Ph system of a national language and different languages, the study of the correspondences between them, the description of changes in the Ph system of languages. Practical significance of Ph is connected with teaching foreign languages, speech correction, teaching deaf-mutes, film doubling.
Branches of Ph. The study of Ph phenomena from the stylistic point of view is phonostylistics. Ph has the following branches: 1) articulatory (physiological) and perceptive (auditory); 2) acoustic; 3) functional (linguistic).
Articulatory and perceptive investigation of speech sounds is done on the basis of a good knowledge of the voice and sound producing mechanisms, their structure and work– physiology and psychology. Acoustic properties of sounds, that is, quantity, or length, tamber,intensity (сила), pitch, temporal factor are investigated by the acoustic and auditory branch of phonetics.
The functional properties of phonemes, syllables, accent and intonation are investigated by means of special linguistic methods. Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia – a combination of sounds which imitate sounds produced in nature, is one more example of the connection between ph and stylistics: jingle, chatter, babble, crash, bang.